Direct marketers and catalogers are preparing to face paper cost increases this fall, while also planning for a possible significant postal rate increase in January.
Lawmakers and federal regulators have signaled online consumer privacy, including "do-not-track" legislation, could soon become a legislative priority.
The growing popularity of e-readers is are pushing publishers and retailers to plan for a not-so-distant future when digital textbooks overtake their physical counterparts.
A growing number of multichannel retailers are entering the mobile commerce space, taking advantage of ever-expanding smartphone offerings and consumers' hunger for convenience.
A discussion draft of what could become sweeping Internet data privacy legislation has pitted direct marketers and list brokers against privacy advocates, with some saying it will kill direct marketing.
Catalogers and multichannel retailers are beginning to plan their responses to the US Postal Service's possible move to a five-day home delivery schedule.
Media companies, many of which have watched their print circulations plummet in recent years, are stepping onto digital marketers' turf to rescue their revenue streams.
That 30 million-plus consumers will need insurance, and therefore more healthcare products and services, is a boon for health marketers, though it will change how they market to consumers.
Marketers are looking to Apple's iPad as a white knight for enhancing their digital and mobile tactics.
John Potter, CEO and postmaster general of the USPS, described the organization's challenges in restoring financial stability in stark terms last week. He expects a cumulative shortfall of $238 billion by 2020 as mail volume drops by 27 billion pieces.
Card-issuing companies now must give consumers 45 days' notice if they change interest rates or most fees or agreement terms, according to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act.
Walmart is best known for its big-box stores, but the retail giant has positioned itself for a future where e-commerce plays a larger role by instituting management and structural changes.
A steady stream of CMO turnover stories is a long-established part of the marketing landscape. Yet an emphasis on customer retention and digital initiatives, as well as the stubborn economy, is resulting in more companies now filling the position with marketers with database and digital experience.
Apple recently acquired Quattro Wireless, a mobile Web advertising firm — a space in which Google is the dominant player. Google, meanwhile, is selling its new smartphone, the Nexus One, on its Web site.
This year, the soft drink brand is breaking tradition, opting for a digital CRM program to drive a two-way discussion with consumers instead of a splashy, Super Bowl spot for its flagship soft drink.
The data and analytics market has seen considerable action this year, from Merkle's deal for CognitiveData to Adobe's acquisition of Omniture. Even credit card giant American Express launched an analytics and consulting division last month.
With consumers' budgets already stretched thin by the recession, many nonprofit marketers are adding digital elements to their end-of-year fundraising efforts. For instance, United Way recently launched a partnership with Games that Give, a casual gaming site that gives consumers an avenue to donate to charity.
Add Toys "R" Us to the list of retailers that recently introduced or reintroduced in-store layaway — a service that had been eliminated by many retailers.
Bloggers and marketers will soon have to disclose any freebies and payment arrangements made in exchange for product reviews.
A US Postal Service proposal to close office branches to cut costs at the financially troubled agency is making news headlines and has resulted in small uproars on the local level.
The Performance Marketing Alliance (PMA) is the latest organization to oppose state tax collection policy based on affiliate marketer location. The trade group announced support on September 2 for a pending New York Supreme Court lawsuit filed by Amazon.com and Overstock.com in July.
Marketers are looking for ways to further capitalize on the growing interest among consumers in digital music.
Because mobile phones continue to evolve and consumer adoption is still growing, mobile compliance can be a tricky area. While mobile spam is not new, the definition of what is and is not mobile spam is still being studied by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Forrester Research and the Wireless Association (CTIA).
Mailers, US Postal Service officials and legislators have been keeping a close eye on the agency's attempts to rescue itself from a pending financial crisis at the end of this fiscal year.
Digital coupons help marketers boost brand loyalty at a time when consumers are more budget-conscious than ever, but coupon fraud is growing.
The New York Times ran an article on May 31 titled "Put ad on Web. Count clicks. Revise."
On June 13, 2009, television stations will begin broadcasting digital over-the-air signals, which will change the way that consumers receive television broadcasting from analog to digital.
Many e-commerce and multichannel retailers need to go to greater lengths to prevent deceptive e-mail and phishing scams, according to industry group the Online Trust Alliance (OTA).
"Social CRM" is one of the latest buzz terms in the CRM community, and lately, some major players in the space have been taking up the call. In mid-March, Salesforce.com added a Twitter application to its Service Cloud, allowing clients to search, monitor and join Twitter-based customer conversations.
Despite a slight uptick in retail sales for January and February, 2009 promises more hard times for many retailers.
President Obama is making his mark with large spending bills and a unique approach to leadership, but he's also creating subtler effects in the world of marketing by bringing African-Americans into the spotlight as a consumer segment. Lexus, for example, has started targeting black women with ads for its luxury hybrids, and Amtrak recently launched an Acela Express campaign aimed at blacks and Latinos.
As part of last year's class-action settlement with groups of authors and publishers, Google has launched a worldwide print legal notice campaign targeting owners of book copyrights. Per the settlement, Google had to inform copyright holders in a way that was considered by the courts to be "reasonable and practicable," which basically means buying a print ad in every country.
Despite the current state of the economy, direct mail marketing from insurance companies appears to be going strong. While overall direct mail volume plummeted from most financial services companies during 2008, mail from homeowners insurance providers increased volume by 19%, according to a survey by Mintel Comperemedia, which provides direct marketing competitive intelligence.
The print industry is undergoing a sea change, and companies everywhere are scrambling to get ahead of the curve — or at least stay solvent.
As the economic turmoil continues, many brands and retailers are turning to digital coupons to sweeten consumer offers. This holiday season saw the growth of coupons transmitted across social networks, coupon aggregation sites and mobile phones.
As the American economy continues its malaise, layoffs have occurred in many sectors — and the residual effects are now being felt by marketing and advertising agencies in both digital and more traditional spaces.
Online sales spiked significantly on Cyber Monday last week, according to several reports, bringing a bit of good news to online and multichannel retailers during what is expected to be a slow holiday season. However, sales were down in some sectors as compared with 2007.
The PC is no longer just a place for watching a couple of minutes of online content: This year, long-form TV and movie viewing on the Web took off.
Thanksgiving weekend, considered the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season, is even more significant this year, because consumers have shown a remarkable lack of interest in shopping recently. Compounding matters, retailers face a shorter holiday shopping season than normal, with Thanksgiving coming late in the month.
Recent results posted by Whole Foods Market have stirred some doubts about the health of the organic food market in today's economy.
Toy catalog and Internet retailers are scrambling to meet deadlines for new regulations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding the banning of lead and phthalates in toys, as well as how they inform consumers about toy safety warnings.
Earlier this month, Mom Central Consulting, an agency that targets mothers, released a 55-page trend report, Illuminating the Power of Mom Bloggers.
More retailers are embracing social media for their marketing efforts. According to a study by interactive marketing agency Rosetta, which was formerly known as Brulant, 59% of the top 100 USonline retailers currently have a page on Facebook, up from 30% in April.
Last week, the e-mail list industry saw the biggest decline it had seen in 20 years, according to Worldata's Fall 2008 List Price Index. Permission-based e-mail business-to-business lists, the highest-priced category with an October 2008 straight average price of $293/M, took the biggest hit, with a decrease of $12/M from last year.
As a category, gift cards have traditionally kept giving — their sales have posted regular gains over the past few holiday seasons.
During a conference call this week with reporters, the National Retail Federation and Bigresearch said that many of the same factors that have hurt retail sales much of this year will continue to have a negative impact during the upcoming holiday season.
Fifteen do-not-mail bills have been introduced in state legislatures over the past year, according to the Direct Marketing Association. Of those bills, four are still under review; however, few if any seem likely to be passed.
If passed, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008 (HR.5546), introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), could affect both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers that accept credit or debit card payments.
During a time when airlines are charging for bags, pillows and water, Azores Express, the US arm of Portugal's second largest airline, SATA, has launched its first major ad campaign in the US.
Industry experts cite several reasons for a recent slowdown in the retail insert marketplace, among them declining newspaper circulations, rising paper and shipping costs, as well as advertisers' desire to reach younger, text-savvy consumers. Several printers and at least one media company, however, have introduced data-intensive programs designed to convince retailers of the power of print.
Company of the week
R2C creates, produces, distributes and measures messages that inspire and compel consumers to do something with a brand to drive commercial advantage. The full-service advertising agency specializes in creative, production, media, analytics and performance.
What's in our mailbox this month: fitness postcards from Retro Fitness, American Woman Fitness Centers, Union's United Taekwondo Academy, and Bally Total Fitness. (We're totally pumped.)
Social data can improve a brand's bottom line and customer relationships. Just ask brands Infiniti and Diamond Nexus.
Here are three must-have data sets that every marketer should include in his or her email strategy.